Trainer corrections - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 47 (permalink) Old 08-07-2012, 11:53 AM Thread Starter
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Trainer corrections

Without taking the time to write a long story, I will say that my trainer gave my dog a correction with a prong collar that made him yelp. (He downed on an out of sight sit.)

I've never given him more than a mild correction. She said she didn't hurt him.......that he was being dramatic. I don't treat my dog this way.

I don't believe anyone but me should correct my dog.

After that episode, we were doing something else and he was in a sit-stay. When she moved toward him, he broke to move away from her. He wouldn't break the sit if anyone else moved toward him.

This is really bothering me. My trainer is very well respected and very successful. Am I being overly sensitive?

I can't work with someone my dog is going to fear. She has laughed at what I consider a correction for my dog.

Your thoughts on this would be greatly appreciated!
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post #2 of 47 (permalink) Old 08-07-2012, 12:06 PM
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It depends on the dog, yours seems pretty soft and doesn't recover easily. Because this is the case, I'd talk with your trainer about your dogs temperament and let her know that her corrections are too much for him.
I don't think she was out of line correcting for the out of sight down stay, but she should be aware that your dog isn't one that needs a collar pop.

All dogs are so different, she should apply her methods to the individual and not think one size fits all.

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post #3 of 47 (permalink) Old 08-07-2012, 12:12 PM
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If you don't feel comfortable with this trainer, don't go to her. If you have a problem with her correcting your dog when he goes down on an out of sight, then how will your dog learn he can't do that?
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post #4 of 47 (permalink) Old 08-07-2012, 12:15 PM
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Are there other trainers at the facility you can work with? Or can you be bold enough to say to the trainer, I am not going to "pop" my dog that hard?

We have used a trainer that uses the prong for corrections. It is very effective, but when it gets to the point where the dog is yelping, I've heard dog owners outside of class question this method and not want to come back. At training I am criticized for being too easy with a correction, then the trainer would show me a firmer correction in front of the class, also stating the "pop" is not hurting my dog - she didn't cry out. So it seemed that yelping/crying out was the sign your correction was too aggressive.

If you like everything else about the class, the facilities, the activities, etc, then you might continue to go and just explain that you are not going to allow your dog to be handled that way. If you trainer is like mine - money motivated - they might let you continue with class if you want to keep paying for lessons. On your own time, you can start to use more positive methods of training. We had used prong then graduated to a reward/treat based training. (Our dog was not into treat training when she was younger).
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post #5 of 47 (permalink) Old 08-07-2012, 12:16 PM
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what exactly was she correcting him for?

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post #6 of 47 (permalink) Old 08-07-2012, 12:24 PM
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If it were me, I'd fire her and find a different trainer that you and your dog can trust. It sounds like she's shattered this dog's trust in her. Also, laughing at your preferred style of mild correction strikes me as unprofessional and obnoxious IMHO (and it would annoy me if a trainer were to do that)--having an honest, respectful conversation about whether the mild corrections are working for you would seem like more appropriate approach for a trainer.

If it were me, I'd trust my instincts and listen to my dog. I'd look for someone with a training philosophy that works for you so that you have a supportive partner in training who will take the time to see your dog as an individual and tailor the training method to his learning style so that it is fun for the dog. What you describe doesn't sound like it's fun for you, or the dog.
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post #7 of 47 (permalink) Old 08-07-2012, 12:27 PM
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i think you should find a different trainer... doesnt sound like you both are "clicking"

why does your dog need a prong for training? my trainer actually bans prong collars from her training class. (alot of people dont use them right)
next time she approaches your dog, tell her you will make your own correction with him.
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post #8 of 47 (permalink) Old 08-07-2012, 12:43 PM
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My dog is very confident, and I remember the first 3 super harsh corrections our trainer gave to our dog made our dog back away from him at the 3rd jerk (with a choke chain). My dog was reacting towards other dog.
But then it was the harshest correction he ever gave, and never gave such harsh ones again. And my dog is not afraid of him, the trainer does balance between corrections and praises.

But that is coz my dog is strong and there's balance between correction and praise. With your dog, it clearly is too harsh for him. I don't buy it that a yelp like that is complaint, a frustrated complaint sound from a dog is different, and dogs don't fake pain yelps.

I use a pinch collar myself on my strong dog, so I have no problems with it. But IMO, a good trainer should evaluate a dog's temperament to find the appropriate training tools and not just put the same intensity of correction on every dog. Why over correct a dog, when he just needs a softer correction? Or even actually no correction but motivational training?
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post #9 of 47 (permalink) Old 08-07-2012, 01:28 PM
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Your trainer gave your dog a correction that made him yelp. So? It sounds like it was appropriate.

The question is did you give your trainer permission to correct your dog? If this is normal, then I don't see a problem. If you haven't given permission and he had never corrected your dog before, then it's a problem.

It sounds like your corrections are very mild and your trainer finds them ineffective. Maybe you should reevaluate the corrections you are giving and decide if they are effective or not. If you have to nag your dog or the correction doesn't get the reaction desired, then it's ineffective.

If you don't like what your trainer is doing, no matter what, it's your choice to leave or not.

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post #10 of 47 (permalink) Old 08-07-2012, 01:37 PM
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It's your dog. It doesn't matter how good of a reputation your trainer has, if you are not comfortable with her methods and your dog is not comfortable with her methods then you should find a different trainer.

I have a soft dog. My corrections are verbal only (and relatively mild) and quite effective for him. Every dog is different and if your trainer can't or won't recognize that then that is another reason to find a different trainer.

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